4 more WNC alums drafted

Four more former Western Nevada College baseball players were selected on the final day of the amateur draft.

Seven WNC players were selected over the three-day event.

Pitcher Kramer Champlin was selected in the 33rd round by the Toronto Blue Jays after two years at WNC and one season at Arizona State. James Nygren also went in the 33rd round, going to the Florida Marlins. Third baseman Kevin Taylor, who was dismissed from the WNC team this season, was picked in the 36th round by the Dodgers. Second baseman Jerome Pena was taken in the 38th round by Baltimore.

Champlin was the Scenic West Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2009 and 2010, and left with 19 wins and eight saves. In 2011, Champlin won nine games for the Sun Devils.

"No offense to Cole Rohrbough, Justin Garcia, Stephen Sauer, Mason Tobin or any of the other great pitchers to come through our program, but Kramer was the best pitcher to come through our program," WNC coach D.J. Whittemore. "He came to WNC without a Division I offer and turned himself into the top pitcher on one of the best teams in the country.

"He has proven everyone wrong, and I believe he will continue to do so for a long time to come. His confidence and ability to perform in the clutch allowed our team to excel at the national level."

Pena started the last two seasons at TCU where he was a first-team all-Mountain West Conference selection. He hit two homers in the College World Series in 2010.

"Jerome is one of the great success stories at WNC," Whittemore said. "He earned a scholarship to one of the nation's top D-I programs, led them to the World Series and now will have a chance to play professionally."

Taylor signed to play with Arizona State and played this week with the Nevada Bullets. He was a Region 18 selection.

"Kevin's talent is undeniable," Whittemore said. "Hopefully he will get a chance to make a living doing what h e was born to do - hit."

Nygren came to WNC throwing in the mid-80s and left throwing 95.

"Although James spent only six months on our team, he made the absolute most of his time, earning praise and recognition from professional scouts as well as a scholarship from national champion Oregon State.

"The combination of his talent, hard work and drive with the expertise of pitching coaches Kevin Edwards and Dennis Banks vaulted James from an unheralded high school senior to Oregon State's leading pitcher by victories and a Game 1 starter in last weekend's regional."


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